Are you enough? Yes, you are.

Are you enough? Yes, you are.1 .jpg

By Guest Blogger:

#STUKGIRL Tazeen Shaikh

If there is one thing of pressing importance that we need to talk about, it’s self-acceptance. It is something I have struggled to master, and it’s safe to say that I have not yet done so. Same is the case for a majority of people out there.

Writing my debut novel, ‘The Fire You Don’t See’, taught me a lot of things. A LOT. You could say my writing journey was like a roller coaster with its ups and downs, or like making a soufflé, if you consider the frustration of getting it right and the perseverance you need to keep on going till it rises perfectly (making a soufflé is hard, guys).

Amongst the numerous things I learnt, self-acceptance was one of them.

My novel is fictitious but it is inspired by my ongoing struggle with mental illness since the past few years and the bullying that I had faced a couple of years ago. The two lead characters are young women of different nationalities, Indian and Korean, brought together by fate. Creating the characters with realistic flaws was one of the best decisions I made. In many ways, they taught me acceptance, maybe because I accepted their good and bad, and maybe because the two accepted each other despite the flaws in nature and sometimes, in judgement.

The question that pops up in my mind pretty often is why do most people struggle to love and accept themselves? Why can’t I accept myself? Why don’t I love myself enough?

Should I be thinner or should the scale show a higher number? Should I laugh or talk in a more ‘feminine’ way? Should my skin colour be different than what it is now? Should I wear what everyone else wears or should I wear what I want? Is it okay to have dark circles or should I make sure I am well stocked with concealer at all times?

We hate what they SEE in the mirror every morning because of what we see on the screens of our phones. We hate what we DO because maybe, it is what we were forced into doing or perhaps manipulated. We hate what we ARE because maybe, it isn’t ‘ideal’ to the society.

Who gets to decide what is ideal? The people who are themselves, ideal? If so, who decided that THEY were ideal? What sort of a circle are we running in? And why do we need an ideal type anyways?

We are not taught acceptance. We are always told that we can be better, and prettier, and smarter. We are never told ‘you are enough’. So, say it. Say it to yourself. Say it to the people around you.

To those who would argue against this using ‘growth’ as a parameter- I am not saying pushing towards growth is bad, because it isn’t. But it’s healthy only if you first accept what you are in the moment; like setting a foundation on which you can further build. If not, you will never really be content with yourself no matter how much you grow because you wouldn’t know how to accept yourself. Acceptance is the first step towards growth. Knowing that ‘this is what I am and it’s a 100% alright, but I can be better if I want’ is important.

Accept the parts you can’t change. Accept the ones that you can. Accept your desire to grow. Accept the choices you make. Accept every single inch of your being, and love all of it.